Making weight: Communication between Coach and Fighter
Last week, I had to enter a fighter at a higher weight class than we expected.
On February 19th, Dreamland Boxing will be hosting it’s annual “Jr Never Give Up” boxing event. We have 7 fighters entered and 4 of them are competing for the first time.
Sometimes fighters are scared to tell their coaches that they’re struggling to make weight. They think they can power through it and do it by “any means necessary.” It’s important that coaches have open lines of communication with their fighters to know where they’re at.
I had to pry a little bit to find out that one of my fighters was having trouble getting down to his weight class. He said afterwards that he didn’t want to be “that guy” that pulls out of a fight. I reminded him that we’re still early (3 weeks away), and we can request the match to be made at 5lbs heavier or have the opponent re-matched with a different opponent. Now’s the time to speak up – it’s really not an issue if we communicate openly with the opponents coach. What would be an issue would be just flat out coming in overweight with no warning.
I tell my fighters to not lose more than 2lbs per week.
If they’re in a position where they will have to lose an average of over 2lbs per week, I either pull them from the bout or enter them at a higher weight class. In this case, my fighter was 13lbs away from his desired weight class with 3 weeks left. I told him we’re going to enter him 6lbs heavier and see if his original opponent would still take the bout. If not, Jesse would still find his opponent a different match and try to find our a fighter a match as well. So instead of losing 13lbs in 3 weeks, our fighter now only has to lose 7lbs.
7lbs is the furthest weight cut I’d allow in this amount of time. And I remind our fighters that the first pounds to lose are the easiest, and the last pounds are the hardest. So this one will be close, and we’ll have to monitor how he feels during training. I won’t let a fighter compete in a compromised state.
In the past, I’ve had fighters weigh in weekly. But I also want to teach them to take accountability for their own weight. So I don’t have fighters do weigh-ins unless we’re gearing up for a major tournament. For club shows, it’s all about personal accountability and open lines of communication between fighter and coach.
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About the Author:
Coach Ian is an ultra-marathon runner and a volunteer coach at the non-profit boxing organization, Dreamland Boxing, in San Jose, CA. He competed in boxing for both Dreamland and collegiately at UCLA. His goal is to empower all to be the best that they can be, in boxing and in life. You can find Coach Ian on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.